Homecoming week brings with it busy schedules, especially for those involved in marching band and football. Emily Hegg, assistant director of Health Promotion and Kim Heazlett, Health Promotion coordinator, both from Student Health Services at North Dakota State, issued some helpful reminders for students.
Hegg noted that students often overextend themselves and even more so during homecoming week. She wanted to remind students about self-care in college and in life. “It’s okay to say ‘no,'” Hegg said, continuing to say that friends will understand.
She also added that sleep is important for the brain synapses of students, and if students aren’t getting enough, their brain is not getting a chance to heal those synapses.
However, sometimes sleep isn’t the right solution for the problems of students. Heazlett talked about the different services offered to students who may be struggling.
“Look out for one another,” Hegg said, noting that if a friend looks like they’re uncomfortable, or if someone feels unsafe, to be an active bystander, do something to change and improve the environment they’re in.
If students choose to engage in sexual behavior, Hegg wanted to remind the student body to use clear and ongoing consent when in a sexual encounter. Not everybody chooses to have sex, and that’s OK, according to Hegg.
She also wanted to remind students that if they do choose to engage in any sexual behaviors to be safe, use condoms, dental dams and lubrication. If students don’t know where to acquire these items, Student Health Services offers them for free. Students just need to walk in and take what they need.
When it comes to what students are eating, Hegg recommended eating throughout the day if there isn’t time to sit down and have a meal. “Stash your backpack with snacks,” Hegg said.
Additionally, she recommended keeping your hydration level up by drinking water. She added that when students are thirsty, their bodies can sometimes think they’re hungry, so water can help make you feel fuller as well.
Some easy snacks Hegg recommended as backpack snacks include nuts, granola bars, fruits and vegetables.
If you’re concerned about hydration, Powerade, or another sports drink of your choice, can help replenish your nutrients and electrolytes, but to do so in moderation.
For those students who don’t like water, Hegg suggested carbonated water or a zero-calorie flavored water instead.
Hegg encouraged students to have fun, but to not sacrifice their health to do so, saying, “It’s OK not to do everything.” She also reminded students to protect each other and create a culture of caring.